Sermons

Summary: Part 1 of a 4-part series on Christian stewardship responsibilities.

Part 1 - THE MEASURE OF A LIFE

Introduction:

Stewardship is about much more than money. In fact, money is really a very small part of our

stewardship. Stewardship is about how we live our lives.

Christian stewardship is the management of your life for God. How then do you measure the

success of your stewardship? To answer that question, you must be able to correctly identify the true

worth of a man’s life, discerning between temporal and eternal values. The life of C.T. Studd (1862-1931)

demonstrates this difference. He came from a wealthy English family, having the opportunity to achieve

both fame and fortune. He gained national acclaim for his cricket playing; today he would be considered

a "superstar". Then God burdened him for the unreached people of the Orient. But when he shared with

others his calling to be a foreign missionary, he received strong opposition from his family and friends.

Why would he want to leave the comfort his wealth could buy for the hardship of a missionary life? Why

would he want to give up national prestige to preach to idolatrous people? Daily he was pressured to

abandon his call, yet convinced it came from God, he and his wife departed for the Orient, beginning a

ministry marked by disappointment. He would later write that for five years they never went out of doors

without being cursed by their Chinese neighbors. Eventually forced to leave China, they returned to

England in broken health.

While recovering, Studd became burdened for Africa. Again he departed for the mission field.

There he served for nearly twenty years, yet not without hardship. Often he was encouraged to return to

England, but he refused. When he died, it was among the people he had labored to reach with the

gospel of Jesus Christ.

C.T. Studd’s life represents a stewardship. My Christian life, and yours, also represents a

stewardship. How then do we establish godly values and insure that we will be good stewards?

I. Three Elements For Building A Godly Value System - Hebrews 11:24-27

A. A Foundation of Faith (27)

All of life must rest upon a foundation of confidence in God and His Word

B. Values Based Upon Faith (25-26)

The will and purpose of God must be given a greater value than the things of this life.

Our beliefs will shape our values.

C. Choices based upon values (24-25)

II. Measuring the Success of our Stewardship - Luke 12:1-40

A. Success is not measured by the esteem of others. (1-2)

The word "hypocrite" originated from the Greek theater.

It means to "wear a mask", to play a role, to be false.

It refers to the practice of hiding your real motives and character behind a mask of

insincerity.

The religious hypocrite plays his role to convince others that he is something more than he really

is.

It is pretended devotion.

It is premeditated deception.

The folly of hypocrisy is that sooner or later, the mask is coming off.

We may be successful at deceiving others, but we never deceive God.

Whether through the circumstances of life, or at His seat of justice, God will expose the true

nature of the hypocrite.

The point being made is that it is not important what others esteem you to be, but what

God knows you to be.

B. Success is not Measured by our possessions. Verses 14-21

Covetousness is:

A craving for something we think will make life more satisfying.

The heart reaching out for something which God for the present has denied.

Covetousness comes from the belief that having more makes life more satisfying, and the person

more valuable.

The folly of covetousness is:

Possessions are only for time - your soul is eternal.

Success is not measured by what you have now, but what endures for eternity.

C. Success is not measured by the things we lack. Verses 22-30

Worry is the mental distress caused by uncertainty. (Will I have a job tomorrow, will I be

able to pay the bills, will I have cancer, etc.)

Anxiety arises from a lack of faith in the promises of God and lack of dependence upon

the provision of God.

The folly of worry is that security is not found in the substance of life (food, raiment), but

the Source of life.

D. The success of a life is measured by its relationship to eternity. Verses 31-40

The priority of a hypocrite is appearances.

The priority of the covetous person is possessions.

The priority of the anxious person is security.

The priority of a Christian steward is eternity.

"He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot

lose." Jim Elliot.

Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own

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